Here is a cool video that uses a microtonal variation of the C minor scale where the A and D notes are each thirty cents flat.
A Scream from Lebanon
Bells often work very well with microtonal tunings. Many of the instruments we are familiar with (pianos, violins, guitars, most wind and brass instruments, etc.) have a harmonic spectrum that tends to work best with more traditional tunings. They can also work well with some very exotic or dissonant tunings, but the inharmonic spectrum of bells often provides a better match. I am fascinated by bells and the possibilities they represent.
As an example, Tony Salinas performs on a microtonal bellophone that uses a tuning of 96 equally spaced tones to the octave. The conic bells that are used can be arranged in various ways.
Here is a picture of a single conic bell.
Of course, this is all very interesting, but you probably want to know how it sounds and see it in action. Click here to see a video demonstration. The bellophone has already been used in concert and I hope to hear more about in the future.
Well, this concludes the first batch of unusual microtonal instruments that I wanted to share with you. I hope you enjoyed reviewing just some of the fascinating approaches to exploring pitch with instruments. This series will take a break for a while, but I hope to discuss more microtonal instruments in the future, including some of my own.